Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Holidays...

The last few years since we've been back to Florida, my sister and I have come up with something cheap and fun to give to everyone in our family on Christmas Eve. Lets see, we've done the Echo-ing toy microphones, whoopi cushions and so on. This year, it was my turn again so I bought everyone holiday themed 3-D glasses. They were sooo cool. When we put them on, all the holiday lights on the trees, etc, turn into 3 dimensional snowmen, snowflakes or ornaments depending on which pair of glasses we had on. Everyone se
emed to really think they were cool and we enjoyed passing around the different glasses so everyone had a chance to look at all three designs!

Here we are sporting our glasses...

and here without them! LOL

Psst... don't mind the mess - we took the photo after unwrapping gifts and had to move furniture to get everyone in the pic!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Nativity as seen through Kaylee's eyes...

I took the girls to Church Street Christmas tonight. It is a city tradition that began 31 years ago where visitors can stroll down the brick paved street of Church Avenue in Dade City to enjoy beautifully decorated homes, choral groups, music, Hot Cocoa, a live nativity scene and more. It was tonight that I realized again what kind of world our children live in. Here is our conversation with Kaylee after visiting the live nativity scene:

Kaylee: "Hey mom, what was that baby's name again?"
Me: "Baby Jesus."
Kaylee: "Was the baby a boy or a girl?"
Me: "Baby Jesus was a boy."
Kaylee: "Why did he sleep in the hay and not on a bed."
Jennah: "Kaylee, back then, they didn't have a bed for him."
Kaylee: "And no house for him either?"
Me: "No Kaylee, he was born in a manger - it's like a barn."
Kaylee: "WHAT?" "He didn't have a pillow either?"
Me: "No Kaylee, he probably didn't have a pillow."
Kaylee: "And no laptop?"
Me: "No, no laptop."
Kaylee: "I don't want to live in a manger mom." "Can I play on my computer when I get home?"

I love the way she thinks!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Run, Run as fast as you can...

Run, Run as fast as you can; You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man! Our annual gingerbread man decorating was tonight. The kids love this. It's easy and it's something the whole family enjoys. So here are the pics..

Kaylee's (with a little help)



and mine...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A day at the Spa

For Mother's Day this year, that's right, way back then, Mike bought me a "By The Sea" Spa Package gift certificate. It was such a nice gift and I FINALLY got to use it today! So, after I dropped the girls off at school, I trotted in to the Spa! First, I started with a one hour full body, aromatherapy massage. I was in Heaven for that whole hour! Then, I had a seaweed facial. Now, I've never had a spa facial before but let me tell you, I could get used to it. And honestly, it was more than the lady just putting a "mud" mask on me. There was a steam fan, some hot towels and a bunch of creams and good smelling stuff put on my face at various times! Not only was it a facial, it included a face, head, shoulder and neck massage and a foot massage as well! They did all the extras while I had the seaweed mask on. After that, it was off to the electric massage chair to have my spa pedicure and manicure done along with my drink of choice and a snack of cookies and fudge. YUMMM. Then, when I was through with that, it was on to the deep conditioning treatment, a shampoo and a style for my hair. All in all, it was a WONDERFUL 5 hours of pampering! Thanks Mike! You're the best!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thank You All Children's Hospital...

So here we are, four years from the beginning of our journey with All Children's Hospital, at our FINAL day of feeding therapy for Kaylee. I can think of nothing but a HUGE thank you to all the therapists at All Children's Hospital for this moment! Beginning in 2007 with Kathleen Tyson who was Kaylee's first therapist for PT at the All Children's Therapy Center in Tampa to Lesa Shelton and Melisa Workman at the All Children's Sertoma Therapy Center in Lecanto, who worked with Kaylee on speech and feeding, and also to Genia Pateracki and her scheduling "magic" so that we'd always have the time slot we needed. You all are the BEST and we have so much to thank you for. I think of Kaylee way back in 2007 when she couldn't sit or stand on her own, having to put her in a neck brace so she would hold her head up straight; doing all we could to get her to walk on her own -the best Mothers Day gift ever - back in 2008, on our cruise to the Panama Canal, when she stood up for the first time by herself and walked around the whole ship; the shoe inserts for her legs and feet once she did finally stand and walk; the speech therapy with "Miss Lesa", so she would use words and not hold her arms out and grunt for things she wanted; and finally feeding therapy and just getting her to touch food with her tiny hands. I remember the cool whip, the caramel and all those crazy things we tried covering up food with, just to get her to put food into her mouth. The laughs, and the tears, the hugs and the games we played with "Miss Mel" to manipulate Kaylee into doing things for us; and even "Miss Genia" who would take time out to let Kaylee pretend scare her by yelling "Boo" every time we left the office. I remember it all but mostly I remember all of you and your positive outlooks for Kaylee when at times I had my doubts. Again, I thank all of you and will never forget you as we move forward with Kaylee on our own. To all of you...

Kaylee in 2007 with her neck brace on to keep her head from tilting over to the side

The best Mothers Day gift EVER...2008, Kaylee finally did it! She got up and walked on her own!

I know, it's ice cream...but she' eating isn't she?

And now, in 2010... we're all so very proud of her.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Kaylee story...

Today I took Kaylee to feeding therapy. When we arrived, Kaylee told the receptionist "Happy Christmas!" So the receptionist replied and then asked Kaylee if we had our Christmas tree up. All was quiet waiting her response when in her loud voice, she blurts out "No, my mommy told me and Jennah that we're not hanging our lights up or putting our Christmas tree up until we clean our room." Yes, it's true, I did tell them that! The receptionist then said to Kaylee "I like the way your mommy thinks." It was too funny. Then, on the way home, Kaylee told me she wanted to sing Christmas music. I believe she was going for "We wish you a Merry Christmas" but her version was cuter: "We wished it's already Christmas; We wished it's already Christmas; We wished it's already Christmas and a happy old deer!" It was so cute and she sang it the same way over and over again.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One down one to go...

I hope everyone had a nice time and had an opportunity to spend some of their time with family during the Thanksgiving break. On Thursday, we had a great time over at Mike's cousin's house with all his relatives and then spent some time at my sister's house that evening as well. We didn't get home until about 11:30pm and then I got up at 1:45am to do some holiday Black Friday shopping with Mike's mom, aunt, sister and cousin. I enjoy it and honestly, it's not the craziness some people believe it to be - well, not where we shop anyway! All in all, an excellent week. Now for some wrapping paper and bows while we wait for Christmas to arrive!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving - A time to....

Well, it's a few days before Thanksgiving! You know what THAT means? It's time to break out the DECORATIVE Thanksgiving day plates that we made a few years ago! I say decorative because although we used markers made to write on glass, some of the drawings washed off! Of course, it was only AFTER dinner that we realized this! Also, I just remembered, Kaylee was too little to make a plate... guess I know what we'll work on tomorrow!

Jennah's plate - What child has NOT made a hand print turkey drawing!
She was 5 when she did this.

My plate - Oh yeah - Who's the artist in this family! I'm loving my flaming turkey!

Mike's plate - love the crab - on the plate that is! LOL

Friday, November 19, 2010

Place mats...

Just one reason why I don't normally keep place mats on my table...

Kaylee...yes, she's the reason! LOL

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


The letter for the week in Kaylee's class is "G". Here is the conversation she and I had at the table this afternoon:

Kaylee: "So mom, the letter for my class is G". "Do you know what begins with G?"
Me: "Yes." "Gorilla begins with G."
Kaylee: "You're right."
Me: "Grapes begins with G."
Kaylee: "Yes, and Jesus begins with G."
Me: "Well, no Kaylee, Jesus begins with a J."
Kaylee: "No it doesn't."
Me: "Yes, it does."
Kaylee: "No mom, listen - Geee sus." "Don't you hear it?" "Geeee."
Me: "Yes Kaylee it sounds like a G but it begins with a J."
Kaylee: "Mom, you're so silly, you don't even know the letter G."

Why is the English language so difficult?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Mike and I surprised the girls this weekend and took them to Disney. They were so excited! We had dinner with the princesses the first night at Akershus Banquet Hall in the Norway section of EPCOT. That was their first surprise! It was very nice, the dining room is just like eating in an old castle and of course, who can not like dinner with the princesses! Afterward, we went to the hotel - their second surprise! We stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort in one of the pirate themed rooms. It was so cool. They had so much fun pretending to be pirates, it was hard to get them to go to bed! The next morning, we woke up early and headed for the Magic Kingdom. It was very nice - not too crowded yet a bit on the chilly side - a good reason to buy some Mickey Mouse knitted hats! We had dinner with Pooh and his friends that night as well. Like I said, we all had fun. We were excited to find that Kaylee was tall enough to ride both Splash Mountain AND the Thunder Mountain roller coaster! She loved it so much, we rode it twice! Go Kaylee!

My house!

Jennah with her "chair hair"! This was so funny! I love this picture of her and her creative self!

Waiting to go on the Magic Carpet Ride.

The Pirate beds.

Kaylee waiting patiently for Donald to sign her book.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I'm a little behind but here are some of our family's Halloween pictures! The kids had so much fun going to all the neighborhood houses and honestly, we did too! The girls were cute - Jennah in her Devil costume TRYING so hard not to give the "model pose" for pics and Kaylee, who after getting candy would turn away from the houses every time and yell "Hey Mom, they gave me candy!" like she was surprised each time! All in all, a great night. I just wish I could be two places at once as I really enjoyed walking around with my girls yet I also love handing out candy to the little ones that are all dressed up! Enjoy!

Two GOOD witches!

Jennah and Annie
Kaylee and Annie

Our Family

Friday, October 29, 2010

Costume Parade

Today was Kaylee's costume parade at school. All the little ones were so cute. The weather was perfect for them to walk around the bus loop showing off their costumes. After the parade, they grabbed their bags and went from classroom to classroom gathering up candy - because you can never have enough candy at Halloween time! :) Here are some pics of Kaylee - enjoy!

The cutest witch of all !

After the parade - trying to hide from the camera!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's not my turn...

I'm not an overly religious person but there are some times when I just know I'm being watched over. Today for instance was one of those times - in a HUGE way. I was on my way home from Tampa when a car on the highway came so close to side-swiping me in my lane, I could have probably touched it when it went by. I slowed down to let it pass so I didn't have to be beside it. As I watched this car cross the dotted line several more times, my initial thought was "wow, what a jerk". Then, suddenly, the car went into the median, came back across the highway right in front of me and flipped three times before landing sideways in some trees. Honestly, I don't know how I didn't hit the car or have it hit me. I ended up on the side of the highway and immediately called 911. Another motorist stopped to check on me - luckily I was not hurt at all (neither was my car!) but I was pretty shook up. We then went to help the lady in the car that flipped. I was scared to go look at first fearing she was dead but then we saw her trying to get out of her vehicle. She was disoriented and had a huge gash on her head. I'm not sure why she kept crossing over into the other lanes or why she lost control, but I AM sure of one thing, God was watching over me and it was not my turn to go. Here are some pics...

The vehicle where it came to rest... you can't tell but it's facing South -
we were traveling North!

The help arrives...

The other driver being taken to the hospital...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kaylee's first soccer practice...

Tonight was Kaylee's first soccer practice. It was too cute! She's the smallest one on her team and everyone thinks she's adorable! Well, of course, she IS isn't she? Here are some pics - wish I would have taken one of her when the coach said practice was over. Kaylee started to cry and said "but coach, I don't want to go home, I want to play soccer all night long." The coach then knelt down in front of Kaylee and said "I have to go home too but I'll be back in two sleeps to play soccer with you again." All was good after that!

...going after it - love the "tongue out concentration"...

She had so much fun...

showing Coach Becky (in red shirt) her moves...

Look how tiny she is compared to her team-mates!
She kept right up with them though!

The last big kick of the night!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Home Again...

I'm back home again after my week-long trip to NW Arkansas for craft fair week. I always have so much fun visiting with friends and shopping at the craft fairs. Our week was full of fun, laughs, shopping, eating, shopping, and oh, did I say shopping?! As much as I enjoyed being away, I always love coming home again. This time, the girls made three posters that they taped to our front door welcoming me home! They were excited when I woke them up this morning for school (my flight was delayed, putting me home at 2:00AM!) Kaylee and Jennah both loved the gifts I brought them and of course, Mike enjoyed his bucket of "Daddy's Peanut Brittle." Pics to come later of the things I bought - after all, it wouldn't all fit in my suitcase so I had to ship it!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

1 fish, 2 fish, 3 fish...

Mike and his cousin Greg took the girls fishing today. It was the first time Jennah had ever fished. Needless to say, she was pretty darn good at it; Much like I was when I first went fishing with Mike! Kaylee also tried fishing, but the pole was way to heavy for her so she just watched Jennah. Kaylee did say she touched the fish and it was "slobbery and gooey." I love the look on her face in the first picture below. Enjoy!

Jennah's first catch ever.

...and then came the second...

...and then the third...

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Today was a weird day once Jennah got home. In fact, there were so many funny moments, I don't know where to begin. Here's my favorite:

I'll start by saying, The car we drive is a Nissan Cube. One of it's features is the doors lock automatically when you hit 10 or so mph. All the doors auto-unlock once the car is parked and the key is pulled out of the ignition. Of course, a person can also lock or unlock the doors manually by hitting the lock/unlock button themselves. I am into the habit at night to lock the car with the remote while the doors are still open so the car will not make the beep noise and wake the neighbors. Not that my neighbors can even hear it but you never know. With that said: (now's when you want to sit and put that drink down or you may spill it)...

We went out for dinner tonight. Once we got back home, we all got out of the car except for Jennah. I'm not sure what she was doing but by habit, as noted above, I locked the car. Well, Mike, Kaylee and I were standing at the front door to the house when I said to him "What's Jennah doing?" At that time, we both look over and there's Jennah with a panic look on her face banging on the inside window of the car. I hit the unlock button and she got out. I looked at Mike and said "Really? She couldn't get out of the car by unlocking the door herself?" It was then that we were reminded of the OnStar parody - BlondeStar! You know the one: the lady is in her car with the keys in the ignition and she's locked in so she calls OnStar. We were both laughing as Jennah walked up to us and said "Gee mom, you locked me in the car. It's a good thing you heard me banging on the window or I would have been there all night!"

Dear God, please let Jennah be beautiful and find a good man when she grows up!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Hug-N-Farm

Today we went to a birthday party held at Granma's Hug-N-Farm in Crystal Springs. Our girls had a ton of fun and honestly, I did too! There were lots of friendly animals to pet and play with, a pony ride, hay ride, and lots of plain ole fun! All the children really seemed to enjoy running around the open pasture with the sheep along with petting the bunnies and eating cake too! Kaylee really liked the pony ride and chasing the sheep around. Jennah loved everything about it. Here are some pictures. - Enjoy!

Jennah really loved the sheep.

Kaylee waiting patiently for her pony ride.

She really enjoyed it!

This guy was HUGE!

...And hungry!

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's almost that time...

It's almost that time of year when I take my trip back to N.W. Arkansas! I'm taking Mike's cousin Debbie along with me again! Last year she and I had so much fun laughing, visiting with my friends, shopping and eating at all the places I miss out on living here in Florida. With that said, I've been busy as my trip is only two weeks away! I'm trying to get things settled and taken care of before I go. The last few years that I've gone, Mike has had help with the girls while I am away. This year, he's on his own as his previous helpers have other obligations! I'm sure he can do it ;) It's just a matter of routine and some getting used to. Of course, I'll have my cell phone with me to call him and check up on them. Below are two of my favorite pics from last year: Enjoy!

Both photos are of The War Eagle Mill. This is where I spend most of my shopping time for crafts and ideas for things to make for the holidays. It's my absolute favorite place to be in October! Across the bridge, beyond the mill, there are tons of craft fair booths -there are also tons booths behind where I'm taking the photo from.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

simple storage solutions...

A friend of mine posted a picture of a wreath on her front door which gave me my idea for my post tonight:

I have a few wreaths that I was tired of digging out of the garage when I switched them out every season. Yeah, you can buy those wreath storage boxes but to me, they were all expensive, too big and bulky for my wreaths so, I came up with this idea: I went to Bed Bath & Beyond and bought a purse hanger for my closet. It's a hook with a strap that hangs down which has 7 Velcro type loops on each side so it can hold 14 handbags (or more if you double hang). I took my wreaths, pulled the loop through and tada: my wreath hanger! I can get about 4 wreaths on each side with them overlapping just a bit. I like that they are inside my spare room closet now so I don't have to dig through the garage to get one. Here is a picture of it with just two wreaths on it so you can get the idea.

The other thing I did was I took all those pesky pant hangers that I get with the kids' clothes and used them to hang my garden flags! No more digging through a tote to find the one I want! Really, does anyone use those at home to re-hang those small pants anyway? :) Below is a pic. Enjoy!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Spoiled by daddy...

Mike had the day off today so he decided to ride along with me for my daily school and bus stop trips to drop off the girls and pick them up. After all, it's something that I always take care of as he's at work when they leave and come home. Here's how my morning USUALLY goes:

7:45: get the girls in the car to take Jennah to her bus stop.
7:55-ish: head back home, take the puppy for a short walk. Make Kaylee's lunch. Finish up getting Kaylee ready (comb hair, etc)
8:45: Take Kaylee to school and head home.

2:45: Head out to Kaylee's school to be up front in the pick-up line because Kaylee gets out of school 15 minutes earlier than regular school children. Read book for an hour; Get Kaylee and head home.
5:00: Get Jennah from bus stop.

Today, with Mike riding along, here's how it went:

7:45: girls in car, at bus stop, bus comes, Jennah leaves. Head to Dunkin Donuts for Mike's coffee and get Kaylee a donut for breakfast!
8:50: Take Kaylee to school, head home.

3:40: (yes, an hour later than I usually leave) head to school; wait in VERY long line to pick Kaylee up (mind you she gets out 15 minutes earlier than regular school children but not today!)
4:00: Kaylee is in car (almost 20 minutes later than usual).
4:10: Pulling into Baskin Robbins for ice cream - daddy's idea!

Anyone see a strange pattern here besides me? I don't seem to remember making the extra pit stops for goodies when I make the school/bus stop trips!

Of course, Kaylee's comment was "Hey mom, I really like it when daddy picks me up at school." Well, yeah, she got donuts AND ice cream today! I told her "don't get too used to it." ;)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What if...

What if you could be a bird? Yes, that was the topic for the bus stop conversation this morning between Jennah and I. It went like this:

Jennah: "Mom, wouldn't it be cool to be a bird for a day?"
Me: "Yes, that would be way cool. We could fly everywhere."
Jennah: "Well, I would love to sit on power lines and not get electrocuted." "And then I would go around and poop on some man's suit and make cars all messy."
Me: "Now that's not nice."
Jennah: "Yeah." (giggles) "But then think of the downside."
Me: "What's that?"
Jennah: "Worms for breakfast every morning...ick!"
Me: "Now that would be gross."
Jennah: "I think I'd carry around a bag of chips with my feet."

We laugh, then the bus comes and off she goes. I love that we can have these little fun moments to start our day before she goes to school. She is too funny! I can see it now... I'm going to drive her to college every day as I can only imagine these stories are going to get better and better!